Troubled homeowners wait in line at Cow Palace

October 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
From all over the state and the country, hundreds of desperate homeowners camped out at the Cow Palace overnight in hopes of finding a way out of foreclosure.

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There were more than 1,000 people camped out in Daly City. Seeing the sight of the line shows how the problem of foreclosures continues to fester in this country. People came from Atlanta, Georgia, Southern California, and many other points in between. They are distressed homeowners in search of help.

Each one of them comes with a story of hardship: the loss of a job, a drop in income due to a cut in hours, and one dream -- to hold onto their house. A nonprofit group called Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America is here to help them. They can arrange lower payments from lenders if the homeowners come prepared with their paperwork.

"Then our counselors go over their budget. We pull their credit report, but it's not really a credit report based, to find out where they're spending their money. And then we come up with a payment they can afford. We can say to the lender 'This is all they can afford, not a penny more.' We hit submit, and the lender tries to get to that payment by either lowering the interest rate or lowering the principal," said Darren Duarte from the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

Rosa Harding is in Daly City from San Clemente after hearing that a friend got help from neighborhood assistance in another city.

"I can at least give it a try. If it's out there and they can do it for me, great. It would be a welcome relief," said Harding.

Marilyn Mogal worked two jobs to make her $2,500 a month mortgage payment, but when she lost one of her jobs, she fell behind and now she's facing foreclosure.

"To me this is a court of last resort and there are a lot of people here in the same situation. This is my last opportunity to save my home," said Mogal.

Neighborhood Assistance drew 35,000 people when it held a similar event in Cleveland, 45,000 in Chicago and St. Louis.

It can't guarantee it can help everyone, but it will have 250 counselors on hand in the morning to do everything they can.

The service is free to individuals trying to get some helps on their mortgage payments. It looks like all of the people staying overnight will get through the doors on Friday however, some people will be turned away -- including people who are investors. This program is for owner-occupied homeowners only and the relief for them will come starting at 9 a.m. Friday morning.

If you are interested in going to Friday's workshop, you will need to sign up in advance and get some paperwork together. Click on the link below to find out more.

LINK: Save the Dream Tour

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